The use of rideshare services, such as Uber and Lyft, has become popular over recent years. Many people enjoy the convenience of paying a fee to catch a ride from one location to another. Rideshare options are particularly useful for people who may not have personal transportation options. Although rideshare services are convenient, using the service may come with certain risks in the unfortunate event of a deadly accident.
Rise in Fatal Accidents
Since 2011, rideshare services have led to a 2-3% increase in traffic deaths, which comes out to an estimated 11,000 fatalities each year. Since drivers often spend their time "deadheading," or driving around waiting for passenger requests, it increases roadway congestion. As such, the risk of accidents also increases.
As such, traffic congestions can increase risks to others, such as rideshare passengers, other drivers on the road, or pedestrians crossing the street. If you know someone who was recently killed by a rideshare driver, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim. However, understanding who to sue can seem confusing, especially if you do not have a qualified wrongful death attorney to assist you.
Determining Who Is at Fault
First, you need to understand the details of the situation to determine who is at fault for the death of your loved one. A lawyer can review the information and help you decide who to sue, whether it is the driver, the rideshare company, or both.
To start, the lawyer will work to determine the driving status of the rideshare driver at the time of the accident. Uber and Lyft both offer coverages when drivers are out on the road earning money, but those coverages do not automatically provide compensation just because an accident happens.
For instance, if the driver is not logged into the app, heading to pick up a passenger, or currently engaged in passenger transportation, there is no coverage offered from either company. If, however, the driver is logged in and in the process of picking up a passenger or already has a passenger, coverage can vary.
Either way, your lawyer is likely to file a suit against the driver. Whether the company can also be held liable or not is something your lawyer can also help you determine. It is possible that the company will have to provide you compensation if the driver was on the clock at the time of the accident.
Speak to a qualified wrongful death accident attorney near you to find out more about compensation after a rideshare accident.